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So today I'm going to talk about the FFESSM as we say in French
Which is one of the French Federation of scuba diving. This is the way that French people are taught to dive.
(bubbles sound)
So I mentioned last year that I was starting to train with them on a regular basis two times a week
so today I wanted to share what my experience was, if I liked it or not.
And before we start I want to give a quick disclaimer. This is only my point of view
Some people can have and will have different experiences than I had
especially since I came from a scuba school
experience, I might not see the things like French people
Also if you're French
feel free to activate the caption down there
all my videos are captioned in French and English for your convenience.
So first of all this French Federation...
Is a nonprofit organization
run by members
That take and make live the organization
So it's like a bit different from scuba school that you can have in other places
Because you don't pay to have your level you pay to join the Association
So you do have that sense of big community around it
I know that we French people do things differently
I quote "because we invented scuba diving"
So a French level will not be the same as a PADI or SSI level
as I said before, I am a
SSI dive guide and a PADI Rescue Diver.
So coming from that point of view the FFESSM was quite
troubled by me, they did not know how to treat me.
Some people were like "you need to start from the beginning"
and other ones were like "you can navigate through different levels.
And up to today, I do not have a FFESSM level
Because it was too complicated for me to get it but I will come to that later on.
So the way it works is
You go two times a week in the pool. I mean on my
association, some association can be different.
My sister trained with them when she was a teenager and she trained one time a week and Nicolas,
before we went to Canada, trained with them as well and he went two times a week.
So where I live we are very lucky to have a deep pool meaning that we can go up to five meters down
which means that it is easier to train young and
inexperienced divers at five meters than three.
We did have the pool all for ourselves
so we could take divers down and
simply train.
The first weeks I was assigned to a group and
Then they decided I was good enough on my own so I was able to go down by myself
on this pool session training,
and we started playing with Nicolas on theses diving session
You can see various videos when we train. I have instagram posts where I
take pictures so it was good fun.
And once a month we could go to a very deep pool, 20 meter deep,
where we could train I also have videos of that. So the first time I went there they decided they would evaluate me
without telling me so I had a very bad experience there. The guy tried to...
I don't know what he tried to do, he
thought I was faking a pannicked diver even though I was the one who was supposed to be trained, so
I ended up removing my entire gear, hitting him and then grabbing Nicolas' octopus.
So after that incident I decided I did not want to train with that guy
And the club kind of apologised and let me do whatever I wanted so I was left on my own.
So I was there for the sense of community that I kinda lost
I think that coming from a dive school place they didn't know what to do with me
So I would not recommend you to try to switch.
I actually talked to my first ever dive instructor
whose wife used to be a
diving instructor with the FFESSM and she was like, "yeah you you're better off on your own."
Thing is I can't train anyone and I can't dive
someplace with only
My SSI and PADI license.
In France you do need the FFESSM or any other
Scuba Federation, so I might try again I don't know, still on the fence on that.
One other thing that I really liked about
This experience is that I had a dive insurance
With my license right there.
This is a worldwide diver insurance, a bit like DANI used DAN when I was training in Malta
And yeah, it does cover a lot.
And another thing that I was able to do is that the association is
train to be a visual inspector for diving tanks
Which is this card right there.
If you didn't know in France, we have like this regulation around tanks
They need to be visually inspected
every year and every three or four years they need to be re-evaluated on a special organisation.
So every year a bunch of visual inspector technician come together and
Just look at tanks
If you own a tank, you do need to have it inspected and it will be written on the neck of a tank there
We did learn how things were made
The different kind of tanks, what the danger of tanks are and what tanks should look like.
So it was very very interesting for me
I'm really happy that I was able to do that
And in order to keep that license
I do need to visually inspect one tank a year
at least, if I don't I would need to redo the formation that takes place in two days.
One thing that I missed a lot during this training is that they don't know how to play.
I've started training as a kid
So I started training playing underwater. I made a video about that if you want to check it out
so when I taught Nick had to dive I also went playing with him, so
them not knowing what I was doing when I was playing, I even had someone to stop me on the
side of the pool while I was putting hoops underwater to play around
saying "what are you gonna do with that? Are you playing?
What's that?"
And he went asked my supervisor
which is the the person who is supposed to train me basically for the third level, and
that person went "oh let them do what they want to do" because we already talked about that
But yeah, I had people coming to see me and don't understand and once we were playing underwater
Like people went training and play with us
Um, which was weird
So we might have started a new trend in the French scuba diving world!
and in the same area of not playing they do have their own way of doing things.
I can't tell you the number of time I heard "well PADI might do that but we do that differently and stuff."
I'm very lucky to have met people from all around the globe
And know different types of scuba diving. I met French,
German, people from England, people from Switzerland
So I know how these people interact and sign under water and I can tell you French people act their own way,
Which is very different from all the other people. I don't know how to say having 50 Bars left on your tank
But I do that and they do that. I mean it's ok, but I just need to know
One time my sister showed me
that sign
Which was for her
I'm panicking and for me, that means I have no air left
so that can be very tricky, if you're diving with a French person, make sure to include a sign in your
dive briefing because they don't have the same as yours.
One comment that someone left on my
PADI versus SSI video
Do summarise well what this organization is
They said "the big problem with national organization is that they run at local level by absolute tyrants were at best
power drunk cretins" and that is very true. I knew three directors
in three different organizations and they do
old stupid people. I'm sorry if you're one
But they have their own way of doing things and they want things exactly the way they want
even if it's stupid as I said before
The guy was the director who basically tried to strangle me underwater and didn't even apologize
So yeah!
They are not all like that. I mean there is nice people
my neighbour two houses that way
is from the club and he is a very nice person. We did invite him a bunch of times
He helped me with my dry suit and stuff. So he is a very nice person, but he also acknowledged that
The director is a jerk.
So in conclusion, I would say I loved the fact to be able to go two times a week in a pool
To be able to train for new things such as the visually inspect our things,
But I did not like the way the organization is run.
So will I train with them again?
I would love to be able to add the E1 level which is the level that you are able to
make initiation because that's what I love about being a professional scuba diver
is being able to share my passion to other people and
unfortunately, I can't do that in front with my level. So I'll see if I
continue training with them or if I'll find another
Diving Association because there is lot a lot of diving associations in France.
But for now on I'm gonna take a break
I'm about to move also, so maybe the new city will be nicer, but I am tired of
constantly having to prove myself, even if I've been diving since I'm 10 years old.
I'm never good enough for these people just because I come from PADI and SSI.
So that was my take on the FFESSM.
If you did train with them, let me know
what was your experience in the comment section.
And if you do know a French Federation of diving that is pretty friendly with other
Scuba schools, I would love to because I am tired of them.
If you do have any other questions, let me know in the comment section
I try to do a scuba diving related video every month or so.
Feel free to subscribe to have more scuba diving and travelling videos and I'll see you in the next one.
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I trained with the French federation of scuba diving for a year | Crazydivers

41 Folder Collection
Nael published on September 1, 2019
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